SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – In an era where we are more connected than ever, on our phones and online, many people are feeling isolated and fewer people really know their neighbors.
One group is spreading kindness by caring for their neighbors.
“It’s a way for me to live out my faith because God calls us to love our neighbor as ourselves,” said Barbara Zaffater.
She and Kay Rodgers head the We Care Team in their Shreveport neighborhood, Southern Trace.
We Care, a subsidiary of Community Renewal International, works to build better neighborhoods by helping people get to know each other.
“Basically we foster caring relationships in our neighborhood by having community events and block parties and other social events to build caring relationships,” said Zaffater.
Any community can build a We Care team and any neighbor can get involved.
It’s how Rodgers got to know her neighbors after she moved to Shreveport during a challenging time, at the start of the pandemic.
“It was easy,” said Rodgers. “I called and said ‘I need some friends. I want to meet some people and get involved. How can I help?'”
It’s not just about building your own neighborhood. It’s also about bridging relationships with other local neighborhoods.
The Southern Trace We Care Team partners with families in Cedar Grove, hosting back-to-school drives and Christmas parties.
Rodgers and Zaffater say it has made their lives richer.
“The philosophies of the We Care team should be in every neighborhood,” said Rodgers. “To not only take care of your circle. but how can my circle help somebody else’s.”
“It’s the same way in any neighborhood, whether it’s affluent or impoverished,” said Zaffater. “There are kind people and not-so-kind people everywhere. We just want to spread the love.”